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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Put aside the policy fights for a moment: The debate over whether Trump administration officials deserve to peacefully eat a meal in public tells us a lot about Democratic politics in 2018.

Why it matters: Public shaming and incivility isn't just a nasty expression of outrage. It's targeted at making life difficult, and even serving as a deterrent, for public servants who carry out controversial agendas, writes Brian Beutler, the editor of The Pod Save America website.

Dividing lines:

  • On one side: Centrists and establishment Democrats, driven by respect for norms and a belief that public service deserves respect and civility.
  • On the other: The rising tide of young Democrats and the Resistance, driven by a belief that Republicans aren't interested in civility or compromise.

The big picture: The pro-civility crowd is dominating the airwaves and establishment media. The verdict is less obvious on social media.

What they're saying:

  • Maxine Waters: “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd … tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!”
  • Nancy Pelosi: Called Waters' response "predictable but unacceptable."
  • Cory Booker: “We’ve got to get to a point in our country where we can talk to each other... some of those tactics that people are advocating for, to me, don’t reflect that spirit.”
  • Arne Duncan: "No matter how much we dislike or disagree with someone, we should not deny them the chance to have a meal."
  • David Axelrod: "Rousting Cabinet members from restaurants is an empty and, ultimately, counter-productive gesture that won’t change a thing."

P.S. Speaking of incivility: President Trump tweeted today that "Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person... has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!"

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

3 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.